María Luisa Manrique de Lara y Gonzaga, Marquesa de la Laguna, 11th Condesa de Paredes (April 17, 1649 – September 4, 1721) was the daughter of Vespasiano Vincenzo Gonzaga (1621–1687), Duca di Guastala, Luzara e Rechiolo and Viceroy of Valencia, and María Inés Manrique de Lara, 10th Countess of Paredes de Nava.[1]

She married Tomás de la Cerda, 3rd Marquis of la Laguna de Camero Viejo, those becoming virreina of New Spain from 1680 to 1686.[2]

In 1680, The Cabildo commissioned two triumphal arches for the arrival of the Marquises de la Laguna de Camero Viejo, the new Viceroys, to Mexico City. The first, in Santo Domingo, was in charge of Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora. The second, in the cathedral, was the allegorical Neptune of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Sor Juana compares the new Viceroy with Neptune and his wife, Maria Luisa, with Amphitrite, the goddess of the sea.

The only son of María Luisa, José María de la Cerda y Gonzaga Manrique de Lara was born on July 5, 1683, and Sor Juana also dedicated poems to the event.[3] He was baptized on July 14, 1683, by the Archbishop Aguiar y Seijas in the cathedral of Mexico.

She was the patron of Juana Inés de la Cruz and she supported the nun and had her works published in Spain[4][5]

Sor Juana dedicated several poems to her.[6] Just as Leonor Carreto was "Laura" in the poems that Sor Juana dedicated to her, Dona Maria Luisa was "Lysi".[7] Octavio Paz dedicated a chapter of his book "Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz o Las trampas de la fe" (Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz or the traps of the faith) to the relation between the virreina and the poetess. Publisher Flores Raras published a compilation of poems that Sor Juana dedicated to the virreina entitled "Un ardiente amor" (An ardent love) edited by Sergio Téllez-Pon.[8] Dona Maria Luisa also appears as a character in the movie "Yo, la peor de todas" (I, the worst of all) by Maria Luisa Bemberg and in the limited TV series "Juana Inés" aired on Canal Once.

Sor Juana presented her play "Los empeños de una casa" (The Pawns of a House) for Maria Luisa and her husband, as well as perhaps for Archbishop Francisco de Aguiar y Seijas. In the work Sor Juana includes several verses in honor of Maria Luisa such as "Divina Lysi".

Dona Maria Luisa published the book of poems of Sor Juana "Inundación Castálida" (Castálida Flood) in 1689 in Madrid. The second volume was published a few years later in Seville.

María Luisa Manrique de Lara y Gonzaga died on September 4, 1721, in Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy.

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